Sunday, 1 April 2012

Vale of Ffestiniog at the heart of Welsh wildlife

Wales has more nature reserves per capita than any other country in the UK or on mainland Europe. This says a lot, not only about the outstanding landscape, scenic beauty and wildlife diversity of Wales, but also about how its people value being close to nature and want to protect their natural heritage.

Across Wales there are over 70 National Nature Reserves (NNRs) and the greatest density seems to be clustered around the Vale of Ffestiniog.  

This spring a comprehensive guide to every NNR in Wales - plus dozens of our finest RSPB, Wildlife Trust and other nature sites - is being launched. is online now, with maps, directions, photographs of difficult junctions or hard-to-spot landmarks on the way to each reserve, plus details of facilities onsite and nearby as well as pictures of landscape features, habitats and species to look out for. It helps people to decide where to go and when, whether they are birders, wildflower lovers, fungi fanciers or fossil fans – or whether the priority is for somewhere safe for the kids, or suitable for Auntie Jenny who now can’t manage stiles and rough ground.

The author, Sue Parker, is a keen naturalist with a lifelong interest in wildflowers, and wild orchids in particular. Sue says, ‘It has been almost a full-time job for the past three years, visiting hundreds of reserves, some several times to record the changing seasons. This online resource would fill a thousand pages in book form, but it’s a labour of love, and I am continually updating and adding new information.’

A Wildlife Trust volunteer herself, Sue has dedicated the website to … ‘the hundreds of volunteers who work for the wildlife of Wales. Every wildlife conservation organisation in Wales is dependent on an army of people who turn out in all winds and weathers to work on our nature reserves for the benefit of plants, fungi, animals, birds and insects - and us. They also staff the offices, man the telephones, support special events for the public, and carry out a multitude of other tasks including the all-important one of fundraising. Thank you!’

1 comment:

  1. Hi Huw - many thanks for this! What a fantastic resource Sue Parker has put together. I've learned a lot from just browsing the website and have started planning visits to the real sites that we are blessed to have in our locality.